Category Archives: Musings

Wanted: Blue Hydrangeas

We spent the early afternoon walking through the lovely Denver Botanic Gardens. I snapped a few photos of pansies that have the most extraordinary color. I especially love anything with even a hint of blue.

pansie1

pansie2

I was so inspired, that I spent several hours looking for blue potted hydrangeas at various stores. To no avail, I purchased these pink ones.

hydrangea

They’re pretty, but I really want blue. So…I’ll use my grandmothers’ technique of putting coffee grounds in the soil and see if I can change them over.

 

Back to Work

walking

I’m off to Texas for work and I’m noticing, as I go through security or board the shuttle bus, that my interactions with strangers are a little different: more eye contact, more enthusiasm in my “hello,” closer attention to the needs of others.

Is this a result of having just returned from a wonderful vacation or is this some of those Parisian manners rubbing off on me? When addressing others in French – regardless of their role – it is considered polite to add “Madame” or “Monsieur” to the beginning or end of your sentence. Throughout our nine days there, we had countless interactions where we greeted people, thanked them, and said our good-byes, all accompanied with the equivalent of “Ma’am” or “Sir.” While I would sound rather silly literally adopting French speech patterns in English – “Good day, sir! Thank you very much for taking my luggage! United Airlines, if it pleases you!” – I think the respectful tone has been integrated somewhat into my speech. Perhaps that’s the difference that I’m noticing.

I am also noticing a rejuvenated love for what I do for a living. I considered many careers prior to choosing education – interior design, journalism, ballet, marine biology – but ultimately decided that serving was what I wanted most to do. It is easy to forget that this is the driving force of choosing such a profession. We get resentful, frustrated, even dulled to the power of what we do. Yet after a week of being surrounded by the most stunning architecture, artwork, design, music, and food, I have the sensation of having been recharged or refilled, and thus, am able to return to work with contentment for my life and enthusiasm for my chosen profession.

May 2013 bring joy to you & yours!

The magic of family recipes

towelIt has always amazed me how a certain taste or the smell of something cooking in the kitchen can instantly bring back memories. Over the years, I have found that making my mother’s fried green tomatoes, German potato salad, and other favorite recipes are almost a way of visiting with her.

I’ll never forget the day I finally mastered Mama Chris‘ fried okra. Hers was never over-breaded or slimy. It almost had the texture of popcorn, was lightly salted, and had just a dusting of corn meal & flour. When I finally figured out her secret (cook it much longer than any recipe advises) and bit into that crunchy okra treat, I almost got a little teary. I hadn’t experienced this particular taste and texture in nearly a decade.

For my mom’s birthday this year, I decided to gather scanned photos of handwritten family recipes and have them copied onto a hand towel. Zazzle did a great job for a very reasonable price. I LOVE the finished product…such a nice reminder of countless meals and gatherings, enjoying dishes that only a loved one can make.

Things I’m Loving this Week

Just a random post of things I have enjoyed this week…

This picture of Marty. Her eyes remind me of the cat in Shrek.

kitty

Fashion’s Night Out on Thursday in Denver’s Cherry Creek North.

fashion

Talbots’ clearance rack where I scored this great little suit for $60!

suit

And finally, frying some green tomatoes to snack on during Georgia vs. Mizzou. Go Dawgs!!!

fried green tomatoes

Hope you are having a lovely weekend!

RIP, MCA

albumMemory #1: August 1988

During a pep rally in our gym, the cheerleaders perform an incredible dance with stunts to “Brass Monkey.” The whole gym is dancing.

Memory #2: Fall 1990

Now in college, I hear a somewhat familiar voice rapping during a party. I ask who it is. I’m stunned to find out that Beastie Boys released a second album the year before.

Memory #3: Winter 1994/Spring 1995

My last few months in college. While stressing over writing my first lesson plans, the Sabotage video on MTV keeps me laughing.

albumcoverMemory #4: Halloween 1999

My future sister-in-law throws a Halloween party and everyone’s dancing in the living room to “Unite.” I realize sometime that evening that I am head over heels in love with my new boyfriend. I marry him two and a half years later.

RIP, Adam. Thank you for providing the soundtrack to so many good memories.

(Images: Wikipedia)

Saturday morning

I’ve posted before how much I enjoy our “no-drive Sundays” when we can manage them. Saturday is always a busy shopping, errand-running, lunch-in-Cherry-Creek kind of day that has its own appeal.

saturdayMorningAs we enjoy our coffee, I usually make up the week’s menu, write the grocery lists (which unfortunately often involves a stop at Target and Whole Foods), and generally plan the weekend. It’s a lovely start to the day before we get moving.

This week’s menu includes some warm-weather favorites as well as a few hearty dishes for a chilly forecast on Monday & Tuesday:

Grilled shrimp, chicken, & veggies

Gazpacho soup

Chicken tikka masala

Greek pasta dish

Potato leek soup

Burrito bowl

Lentil chorizo salad

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and a lovely weekend to you!

The history behind the “Keep Calm & Carry On” posters

Love this video I found on Apartment Therapy